Date Night at Husk: Savannah
Ever since Hubs and I have been together, we've been checking award-winning restaurants off our list. And thanks to those places, I've had a few totally memorable, outstanding, and all around phenomenal restaurant experiences - one of them being Husk in Savannah by Chef Sean Brock.
Sean Brock has been a common name around our house for that past few years, ever since I got Hubs Heritage for Christmas (and probably before that, but I didn't notice). His passion is sustainable, farm-to-table, locally-sourced ingredients fuels all of his menus and they change daily. Each location (Nashville, Savannah, and the flagship Charleston) sources their food from local farms and even their dishes and mugs are sourced from local potters.
So it was a no-brainer that while we are in Hilton Head Island, SC for the week, that we pop down to Savannah for an evening and go to Husk.
Located the heart of Savannah's Landmark Historic District, there is no shortage of stunning views and beautiful architecture. Walking into the historic building where Husk resides, you're greeted with stunning original wood floors, elegant (yet simple) Southern decor, and a stunning view of the open kitchen.
Our waitress, Sarah, went above and beyond to make sure our entire experience was top notch. She carefully explained each menu item and where each menu item was sourced. Sean Brock's whole philosophy is to curate a menu using locally-sourced, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients so it was no surprise that our server knew the exact farm where each protein, greens, and grain were sourced. It was pretty amazing. The patio is filled with seasonal peppers, flowers, and vegetables that are used regularly on the menu.
The drink menu was quite extensive - there was a huge list of wine, spirits, and pages of bourbons. Hubs was all about it! There was also a great selection of old-fashioned sodas and "dry South" prohibition-era mocktails. Hubs started the meal with the "Boogies Shoes" cocktail. This tequila cocktail was named after the night Midori was launched and the premiere of Saturday Night Fever, where they celebrated with a joint party at Studio 54. I sipped on a wildly cool and refreshing grapefruit and elderflower old-fashioned Cannonborough Beverage Co. soda, based out of Charleston, SC.
We began our meal with the HUSK Charcuterie, featuring 5 in-house made meats: Mexican chorizo, bratwurst, fennel sausage, chicken liver pate, and pepperoni. These were accompanied by pickles and plum mustard and Anson Mills Benne Wafers. After the chef and kitchen staff learned that Hubs is a chef and we were celebrating our Baby Moon, they sent out the Pimento Cheese appetizer as a gift. A huge Southern staple, I was excited to try Pimento Cheese. Not to mention the presentation was gorgeous! (Southern hospitality is NOT dead, and I'm obsessed)
Our entrees were executed beyond reproach. Hubs ordered the Aged Beef, which in reality was Beef 3 Ways - Grass-fed NY Strip, beef sausage, and bone marrow "mousse." It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. The bone marrow "mousse" had the rich flavor of steak, but the consistency of butter. It was incredibly creamy and accompanied with the embered peppers or steak, it was pure perfection. Hubs paired this with the "Ring the Bell" bourbon flight, which consisted of 3 bourbons - a belle meade, a single barrel, and a madeira. They smelled amazing and to say I was jealous would be a huge understatement.
I was feeling a little more Southern and couldn't say no to the Shrimp and Grits. Except this was nothing like the shrimp and grits I've had before. It featured Georgia White Shrimp which are plump, juicy, and sweet on a bed of fermented Anson Mills grits (look it up... a SUPER cool way to prepare grits or any hearty grain!). The whole dish was served in warm tomato broth and topped with basil oil, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and embered corn. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat regular shrimp and grits again! We ordered a side of skillet cornbread for the table to share, and it was traditional, dense cornbread, served with honey pork lard butter (holy crap it was the best ever), and topped with fleur de sel.
Somehow we managed to save room for dessert and we shared a delectable Blackberry Ricotta Tart. The tart itself had a buttery crust filled with smooth, whipped ricotta and lime curd filling. This was topped with the creamiest, smoothest blackberry sorbet. Usually not a fan of sorbet because it's generally too cold and can be icy, this was perfectly chilled and refreshing and was so smooth. Unbelievable! Along the side were gorgeous, juicy blackberries, "decorated" with flowers grown on their patio garden.
It's the little things that really matter when you are dining out. From the ambiance, to table settings, to dish ware, to the extensive knowledge of the menu, every little detail can make or break a dining experience. Not only was our waitress attentive and willing to explain each and every thing on the menu, but hearing other tables speak with managers and hearing their questions solidified the fact that every single person who works at Husk knows that details matter. The manager was speaking to the table next to us about different types of bourbon and when the customer asked about specific bourbons on the menu, she knew exactly how each was made, the kind of cask in which it was aged, and the flavor profiles. It was impressive, for sure.
The whole experience was one that we will be talking about for a long time, and will definitely begin to plan
There is only one other restaurant that we have visited that holds a whole new standard for every other restaurant, and that is Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia.
So if you need me, I'll be over here in a massive food coma, dreaming about shrimp and grits.